Monday, July 16, 2018

New York City: Can I Get Some Change With That?

by Michael R. Gauthier (writer), New York, NY, April 13, 2007

I lived in the East Village before making the big (and more cost efficient) move out to Brooklyn. I often consider those 2 years some of the best of my life. An aspiring kid living in a tiny, 5-story walk up loft right on the cusp of Alphabet City. It was like Rent, only without death and singing. But it wasn’t necessarily that apartment that created so many fantastic memories for me, it was the area I lived in. To me, everything east of Avenue A was New York.

I had my regular watering holes for all occasions- happy hour, happy hour after 8, Yankees games, gay bars, straight bars, w/ kitchen bars… There was my coffee shop, my pizza place, Thompkins Park. Walking back through my old neighborhood I see that many of these places are now gone. Last year, during a summer visit from the west coast, I arranged an enormous get together at one of my favorite destinations with all of my favorite friends: 85A. Eight o’clock rolled around and as I was walking north between 5th and 6th streets I received quite a surprise: there was no more 85A! (Not to mention that the old Kim’s Video above had also disappeared.) There was a bit of confusion as my comrades began arriving. How was I to know that what to me was a staple in this area would one day no longer be. Nobody called me!

For a while it bummed me out that so many places I had loved were vanishing without a trace. Dozens of young people were crowded into new establishments I had never heard of. How dare they! Just sitting in there laughing, drinking, smiling… as if this new place with it’s fresh-painted sign and its more vibrant colors had always been there for them. Then I realized: maybe it had.

I’m sure the places that came to mean so much to me had displaced a generation before that. So why not start anew? Why not appreciate this great island for what it truly is: a living, breathing, growing city that for all the happiness it brings to its inhabitants like me, all it asks in exchange is for us to grow with it. So tonight I have made my plans to venture back to my former stomping ground with the same spirit of journey I possessed when I first took up residence there. I will try these new places and I will like them. For that is why I live here. That is why I love it here. That is why I will forever cherish New York- because it will always be just that: new.

About the Writer

Michael R. Gauthier is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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